Archive for September, 2014

Cue Sheet and GPS Files for October 4 Cacapon 200km ACP Brevet

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The cue sheet for the Cacapon 200km ACP brevet starting at the former Super 8 in Middletown, VA at 7:00AM on October 4, 2014 is now posted at Be sure to park as far from the motel entrance as possible. Registration will start at 6:00AM in the motel lobby.  There will be a safety/lights inspection so make sure you have the required reflective gear and lights.

The link to the GPS files is posted below. But please read this information before downloading them. Always get a copy of the final cue sheet. That final cue sheet contains the official route, so in case there is a conflict with the GPS file, you should resolve the conflict in favor of the cue sheet. Use the GPS as a handy-dandy adjunct. Keep your wits about you, as the GPS cannot notify you of road hazards — it is up to you to ride safely.

We strongly recommend that you set your GPS to settings like those below. We cannot guarantee that these will keep you on the official route, but if you have your GPS set some other way, it is entirely possible that it will take you off route, possibly onto unsafe roads. Go to the Setup->Routing page and set as follows:

Guidance Method: Follow Road
Follow Road Method: Shortest Distance
Next Turn Pop-Up: On
Follow Road Options:
Off Route Recalculation: Prompted
Calculation Method: Best Route
Calculate Routes for: Car/Motorcycle
Avoid: (set to none – the route itself should control this)

By the way … make sure that your GPS either has maps already downloaded, or select the relevant maps around the routes.

GPS files are posted at  A route has also been posted to RideWithGPS.

Cacapon 200km - Oct 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The Cacapon 200km is a lovely and “scenic” route by Lynn Kristianson.  In essence, it’s a mini version of Lynn’s “Other Mother,” with a lovely flat-ish stretch along the Cacapon River and plenty of scenic riding, for example over Wolf Gap(the easy way).  The ride starts at 7am, just before sunrise, and many riders may finish in the dark.  So we will have a safety/lights inspection before the ride.

Starting from what used to be the Middletown Super 8, the route takes some fairly level terrain slightly west and mostly north along Cedar Creek Grade to an early first control at Cather’s Market on US50. Continuing north, there is more of a warm up on Poor House Road and a long slow downhill on Green Spring Road next to Green Spring Creek. After crossing Back Creek, there are several significant hills - with some terrific views - on the way to a control at Siler and then more big rollers to Cross Junction on US522. Plenty more climbing awaits through the big woods of Whitacre Road, with a last little uphill slog on US50 to break out in the open in the orchards near the aptly named High View. After winding through the orchards and traveling a short stretch of WV259, the riders turn onto CR13 for a wild ride down the mountain (with a few little ups) to Capon Bridge and a much needed break at Greg’s Drive-in Restaurant. There is a relatively “flat” stretch along the beautiful Cacapon River back to 259 at Yellow Springs. From there it’s familiar territory through Wardensville, up Trout Run and over Wolf Gap, down the mountain to Larkin’s and on home down Back Road, through Clary to US11.

A note on the start hotel: It is undergoing renovation, but is still currently open as an independent hotel.  After the renovations are complete it is supposed to be joining a national chain–can’t remember which.  They are also breaking ground for a McDonald’s.  We are “trying out” the hotel to see if it still holds promise as a starting point for next year’s 600km.

Appalachian Adventure 1000km — Series of final announcements

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Check-in for the AA1000km starts at the Leesburg Comfort Suites at  3am with the ride starting at 4am, Friday, September 5th.  The hotel is booked solid all weekend so they need us to park in the (stony) field between their hotel and the Days Inn, see map with red balloon labelled “Park in Field”, here.  We will also have early-bird check-in Thursday from about 4pm to 7pm.  You can call me at the cell # shown in the cue sheet.

Cue sheet(s) Info: See the AA1000 Routes page, here for the “standard Crista” cue sheet plus a couple of variants that add some information about climbing.  In particular, a “ClimbCues” version that has a bit more information about the climbing from each control to the next, as well as adding “notable” climbs to the cue sheet.  Notable means at least 400 feet, and generally steeper than 2 percent.  Notable climbs are the ones that make me say “Will this climb ever end?”  There are a ton of other climbs on this ride, many of which you may think should have been noted, but there’s a limit to how much we want to clutter the cue sheet.  The climbing cues are generally located at the local low point, typically a stream, so the climbing often starts out easy and only becomes hard after a while. Often there is some up and down in the climb but that isn’t counted in the elevation gain shown in the climbing cue.  The Crest is also cued, so you can easily see how far you have to go and by comparing your current altitude with the cue sheet you can see how much climbing you have left.

The second new version just takes the ClimbCues version and formats it to fit in the top of a handlebar bag.  The PDF is the one to print; the DOC is there in case you want to format it yourself.  The BarBag version is what I use when I am riding so it is formatted as I like it, a little more densely than the other formats, but each day of riding fits on one sheet of paper.

GPS Info:  The Route page also contains some suggestions about how to set your GPS so that it is most likely to follow the cue sheet.  Note that the GPS file is broken up into routes that go from control to control, though for info controls I do not generally start a new route.

The GPS files that are posted to the website also include “climbing viapoints” that roughly match the notable climbs on the cue sheet.  So there is a cue at the start of each notable climb, e.g. at milepoint 136.1 there is a climbing cue in the cue sheet and in the GPS there is a viapoint at around the same point that says C5.2m53′to165′ which means Climb 5.2 miles with 530 feet of elevation gain to an altitude of 1650 feet.  The climbing cues and GPS viapoints may not be identical but they’re similar.

Rider Tracking:  A rider tracking spreadsheet is now available (thanks to Bill Beck and George Moore), see here.  It includes results from the volunteer pre-ride (checkout ride).  There is a “chat feature” that we do not plan to use or respond to but cannot switch off.

Drop Bags: We will be taking drop bags down to Lexington on Friday morning and bringing them back on Sunday morning.  We should have them back to Leesburg by mid- to late-afternoon on Sunday, around the time the faster riders might get there.

Please limit your drop bags to 20 pounds.  With 40 riders, this is 800 pounds of drop bags, approaching the limit of what we can carry.  We will have some supplies of bicycle repair stuff available at the overnights, so you don’t have to bring “everything”.

Make sure that your drop bag is as unique as you can make it so that you can find it in a hurry.  Don’t just write your name in bold: hang streamers, put patches on it, whatever.
Make sure to put some ear-plugs in your drop bag!

Rider Safety:  Randonneuring is just a fun way to spend your time, it is not do-or-die, the prize money you lose if you don’t finish the event is zero.  While bicycling invariably has some risks, there is no point in taking undue risks by riding when you are struggling to stay awake.  Find a store porch, picnic table, post-office or whatever, and take a fifteen or twenty minute nap.  Make sure to maximize visibility even during the daytime.  Save your black clothes for some other purpose–be bright and cheery for randonneuring!  Err on the side of caution when around traffic–don’t race through an intersection (only to drop your buddies).  Single-up when cars are coming up behind you–don’t tick cars off by riding abreast and then have them buzz your friends ahead because they are mad at you.  Above all, make your own decisions, do not be swayed to make bad decisions by the peer pressure of your riding buddies.  You know all this, but maybe it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder :-)